How cold is too cold for your pet to be outside?
Kael Laselva- Contributor for House of FurBaby
It’s about the time of year where the weather dictates whether or not you want to leave your cozy residence. Although, at the end of the day, even if it is below freezing, you still have your brand new winter coat! We all know that thinner jackets aren’t necessarily comfortable when going outside in the latter months of the year, so we tend to wear our big, fluffy coats to make sure that we don’t freeze out in this frigid weather. Much like our winter accessories, the size and thickness of our furry friends’ “clothing” determines the temperature that they can comfortably be outside at. By this I mean, depending on the type of fur that a dog has, they may be able to resist weather that other dogs could not.
For example, bigger dogs with thick hair, such as huskies, can withstand much lower temperatures than a smaller dog could. There are two central reasons for this. The first being that the thicker the fur of an animal, the more insulation it provides, keeping body heat from escaping. Secondly, the size of the dog matters because of the amount of heat it produces. According to research articles about why the size of a pet matters in regard to temperature control (https://www.npr.org/2018/01/03/575321841/how-cold-is-too-cold-for-pets), a bigger dog will always generate more internal heat than a smaller one due to it having larger organs. Also, the age and health of a dog may also impact their tolerance to the cold.
As a basic guideline, medium and small dogs should be kept inside when temperatures are below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. If walking is required to maintain your fur baby’s fitness level, make sure to limit them to 10 minutes or less out in the cold. Whereas larger dogs (according to an article titled “The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Cold Weather”), such as Huskies, Newfoundlands, and Saint Bernards, thrive in colder weather, being able to tolerate around 30 minute walks in any weather above 20 degrees. Although, each dog has a unique personality and hereditary traits, so make sure that they are comfortable when going on those merry winter strolls down your neighborhood.